Romney Backtracks on Ohio Initiative, Favors Gov. ’110 Percent’ on Collective Bargaining

Oct 26, 2011 12:21pm

ABC News’ Emily Friedman and Russell Goldman report:

FAIRFAX, VA – After refusing to weigh in on a charged political issue in Ohio Tuesday, Mitt Romney today apologized and pledged “110 percent” support for Republican Gov. John Kasich’s plan to curtail collective bargaining by public employees there.

At an event in Fairfax, Va., today, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP candidate backtracked, saying, “I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard. I fully support Gov. Kasich’s – I think it’s called ‘Question 2′ in Ohio. Fully support that. In fact, on my website as far back as April I laid out I supported ‘Question 2.’”

Romney was referring to Issue 2, an Ohio ballot initiative that would overturn a state law curbing collective bargaining, which is supported by Kasich.

Romney took a less full-throated stance on the initiative Tuesday, backing the governor’s efforts to rein in unions but refusing to comment on the issue itself.

“I’m not speaking about the particular ballot issues, those are up to the people of Ohio but I certainly support the effort of the governor to rein in the scale of government,” Romney said Tuesday at a GOP phone bank where volunteers where making calls on the proposal.

At the bank, volunteers were also making calls on Issue 2 as well as Issue 3, an initiative that would outlaw the individual mandate in the health care law backed by President Obama.

Romney said today that he still has no opinion on Issue 3.

“One of them, for instance, relates to health care and mandates I’ve said that should be up to individual states,” he said. “I, of course, took my state in one direction. They may want to go in a different direction. I don’t want to tell them what to do, that’s up to them.”

Romney has come under fire for sometimes switching positions on critical issues such as abortion and health care reform.

Read more about Romney’s past policy reversals.

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